Surprise! Dino men sink Wesmen

By Tom Zielinski

The University of Calgary men’s basketball teamed roared into the new year with two consecutive wins over the University of Winnipeg last weekend. The Dinos posted a 71-68 victory on Friday night, then slammed Winnipeg for a 89-71 victory Saturday. It is the first time this season the team has posted two wins in a single weekend.

The Dinos led by 16 at the half in Friday’s contest, but managed to let the competition back into the game.

"Friday night could have been a solid win too," commented head coach Cory Russell. "We made some mistakes, but we still kept the lead. They never got ahead."

The squad managed to keep their composure and hold on for the win.

Saturday night the Dinos came out strong again, and never looked back. When it was all over, the Dinos came out 18 points on top.

Success for the Dinos is not something that has come often this season. But after a month with no conference games, the Dinos took the time to pull their game together.

"It really gave us a chance to really work on some stuff," reflected Russell. "We really saw marked improvement from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31."

The break allowed Dinos players to become more familiar with one another. The team seems to be really coming together, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the coaching staff.

The Dinos put in a solid shooting performance both nights, which helped the Dinos on the way to victory. Jeff Loomis shot 67 per cent from three-point land and scored a solid 38 points over the weekend. "[Jeff] shot really well. He’s also working hard on defense," commented Russell on Loomis’ performance.

Russell was also impressed with the play of Wes Jickling, who continues to prove he has the capability of being a force inside. Rookie John Riad also had a very consistent weekend.

With the two wins, the Dinos are now back in the playoff hunt. They host the University of Alberta Golden Bears this weekend, the nation’s third ranked team. But with confidence soaring high in the Dinos’ locker room, it seems like there is no time like the present to take on one of the best teams in the country.


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